House Republican leaders Tuesday night discarded plans to amend a Senate-passed fiscal cliff deal, setting up an up-or-down vote on the package for late in the evening.
Despite deep opposition expressed throughout the day from the conference, GOP leaders were not able to secure enough votes to amend the Senate bill (HR 8) with additional spending cuts, and they decided to bring up the “clean” version of the bill that passed the other chamber on an 89-8 vote early Tuesday morning.
The decision to go to the floor with the Senate bill also represents a rare departure from the “majority of the majority” rule that holds that bills must pass that threshold of support to be brought to the floor. A large number of Democrats are expected to support the measure, but the number of Republicans who will vote for the package is less clear.
In a meeting lasting less than 10 minutes, the House Rules Committee gave voice vote approval Tuesday evening to a closed rule for consideration of the Senate amendment to the tax rate extension bill.
The House plans to vote on the rule at 9:30 Tuesday night. No amendments would be in order under the rule.
The rule would waive all points of order against consideration of the bill, would not allow for division of the question and would provide for one hour of debate on the measure.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.